The best dumbbell biceps exercises are the ones that are going to help you to build big arms the fastest. In this video, I’m going to show you dumbbell exercises for biceps that will target the long head, short head, brachialis and brachioradialis muscles. While it is impossible to isolate any one of the biceps heads from the other, it is possible to influence the activation of each head by selecting bicep exercises that do a better job at this.
It starts with the biceps long head. With an attachment in the shoulder joint above the glenoid, this biceps muscle head gets its name because of the longer travel of the tendon. Anatomically, this is the area of the bicep that sits more to the outside of the arm. If you were to flex your arm and make a muscle, this would be the part that can be seen from behind as if in a back double biceps pose.
It is the long head that is also most responsible for the peak. If you find that you don’t have enough height on your arms and are looking for ways to get bigger biceps peaks then this is the area you’d want to focus on. The best dumbbell bicep exercises for getting the job done here are as follows:
1. Drag Curls
2. Incline DB Curls
3. Row Curls
4. Waiter’s Curls
The key to each of these movements is that they all do one of two things. First, they keep the elbow back behind the body into extension. This places a greater stretch on the long head and therefore allows it to be selectively more highly recruited and helps to increase activation of the area. The other element is that it places the outside of the arm in a more visible position if you were looking into a mirror when you did the biceps exercise.
When it comes to biceps workouts, the thing you want to remember is that what you see is what you are training. If you see more of the outside of the arm because your arm is turned inward, then you are going to be working more of the long head of the biceps. Vice versa, if your arm is turned out and you see more of the inner portion of your biceps then you are training the short head.
Speaking of the short head of the bicep muscle, here are the exercises that are most effective at hitting this area:
5. Offset DB Curl
6. Spider Curls
7. Preacher Curls
8. Seated DB Curl Plus
9. No Money Curls
All of these have the common trait of placing the arm in a position further out in front of the body. They also all do a great job of allowing for a complete biceps contraction by resisting elbow flexion, forearm supination and shoulder flexion. My favorite of these dumbbell biceps exercises is the no money curl. You can clearly see the biceps peaks and strong contraction at the top of every rep and it also helps to improve posture.
Not falling into either of these categories, but rather having a miscellaneous group of their own, there are three biceps exercises that manipulate momentum to help you get bigger arms fast.
10. DB Chin / Eccentric Chin
11. DB Cheat Curl (Eccentric Focus)
12. DB Strict Curl
And finally, back to the muscle groupings to make sure you leave no area of your arms untrained, we have the brachialis exercises.
13. Cross Body Hammer Curls
14. Robot Curls
These help to build wider biceps by developing the muscle underneath the biceps and providing more girth to the upper arm. Remember to minimize the contribution of the biceps when trying to build a bigger brachialis and you will start filling those shirt sleeves before you know it.
Finally, the forearm muscle that also gets looked at and must be trained for bigger arms is the brachioradialis. This is the best exercise for hitting this muscle.
15. Offset Supination Curls
The key to get bigger biceps is not to feel as if you have to do all of these dumbbell biceps exercises but to select the ones that are most appropriate to the areas that you are seeing your most struggles right now. Select a couple for the short head, long head and from the other two groups and you will see bigger biceps and arms in no time.